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The WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG For Tuesday, Day 80

As I’ve done for more than 11 weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET in USA. You can contact me at epic1934@aol.com, Read about or order my new book, The Age of WikiLeaks, just updated, in print or as e-book.

UPDATE:   Go here for Wednesday's edition.

9:45 Alan Dershowitz, recently added to Assange defense team, on Parker Spitzer tonite.   He says Alexandria grand jury in "preliminary" stages.  So "we need to be proactive" and vigilant.  Calls himself "an adviser to the British legal team, working on American aspects of the law, particularly the First and Fourth amendments."  Spitzer asks: Assange no different from NYT?  Dershowitz:  "That's certainly the theory we are working under."  Points out U.S. encouraging new media abroad while "chilling" in this case, a "double standard" applied.  Fun:  Alan refers to people who "twit." 

8:45 I don't know credibility of poll, but this is interesting: survey in 17 countries finds vast majority of Arabs hail WikiLeaks (in contrast to, say, views of most Americans)  and even more want them to release more info on Arab countries.  Six in 10 say WikiLeaks played role in Tunisia revolt, which sparked so much else, and other demos.  "More than 60 percent believe that Wikileaks will change the way governments behave.  55 percent of Arabs revealed in the poll that they believe little to nothing of what their governments tell them."

8:40  In answer to many requests, you can now order my new and updated The Age of WikiLeaks book as e-book (also for phones, web reading etc.) for only $4.99.  And print version at just $11.99 still here. Hailed by Dan Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald and others.

8:30  @ scottleadingham tweets: "Yes, Sue Sylvester just made a #Wikileaks joke on #Glee."  Of course, I need to ask, who is Sue Sylvester? Jane Lynch?  UPDATE: I'm now told it was, “Will – you have more grease in your hair than the guy behind WikiLeaks!”

8:15  Telegraph published today dozens of new cables on Egypt, including on new strongman Tantawi.

4:25  Rep. Peter King with another attempt at making prosecution of Assange easier in U.S., introduces new bill today. The bill would clarify U.S. law by saying that it is an act of espionage to publish the protected names of American intelligence sources who collaborate with the U.S military or intelligence community.  "Julian Assange and his associates who have operated and supported WikiLeaks not only damaged U.S. national security with their releases of classified documents, but also placed at risk countless lives, including those of our nation’s intelligence sources around the world," King said in a statement.   And now OpenLeaks is "dedicated to the same dangerous conduct," King added. "These organizations are a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States. Julian Assange and his compatriots are enemies of the U.S and should be prosecuted ..."

3:05  Transcript of Glenn Greenwald on Dylan Ratigan's radio show talking anti-WikiLeaks campaign, himself as target--and how he will respond.

2:55 Salon's Justin Elliot on the giant law firm at the center of anti-WikiLeaks "plot." 

2:10  Largely overlooked in Clinton speech was this small bit near end:  "There were reports in the days following theleak that the U.S. government intervened to coerce private companies to denyservice to Wikileaks. This is not the case. Some politicians and pundits publiclycalled for companies to dissociate from Wikileaks, while others criticized them fordoing so. Public officials are part of our country’s public debates, but there is a linebetween expressing views and coercing conduct. But any business decisions that  private companies may have taken to enforce their own policies regarding Wikileaks was not at the direction or the suggestion of the Obama Administration."

1:55 Need I say more to get you hooked?  The Tea Party, UFOs and Assange.

1:50    If you're a media person or blogger who good-sized audience likely to cover or review my new WikiLeaks book, drop me a line at email above and I might just gift you an e-book version.

1:40  Micah Sifry on Hillary Clinton's big Internet speech: "Straw man argument: US can't protect its citizens security if it has to make public ALL of its documents."  Full report on speech.

12:50   This is great:  Activists, researchers, setting up "Iraq Leaks" to expose corruption there as street protests grow.   Use as example U.S. donating computers--then sold on black market.  People there spreading word via Facebook.

12:20  U.S. vs. Twitter hearing over.   (AP)  Government lawyers defended their tactics in front of a judge regarding a criminal investigation of leaks of secret documents by the WikiLeaks website.  Lawyers for three people associated with WikiLeaks on Tuesday asked a judge to rescind an earlier order that demanded information about their Twitter accounts.  The judge heard arguments and said she will issue a written order shortly."   UPDATE and details here.

11:45  Turns out Alan Dershowitz's involvement with Assange defense much greater than many thought (and he will be on Parker Spitzer tonight) .  In new CNN interview he says he has talked to Assange "extensively" and emailed.  He will concentrate on "First and Fourth" amendment issues, strong defense of freedom of the press, and hopes to meet Assange in UK: "He seems like a very multi-dimensional person. I look forward to getting to know him better and forming a judgment based on personal observations.  But these are the cutting edge issues of 21st century communication."

10:15  Good and much-needed review by Kevin Gosztola at WL Central on what the cables have shown about Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and elsewhere in the region.  And a Part II tomorrow.

10:00 Jake Tapper of ABC on the big  U.S. vs. Twitter case in Virginia today (see more below).  Stay tuned.

9:50  Andy Greenberg of Forbes with his update on the HBGary scandal (see much more below).

8:50 Since this blog began we've often admitted a wish that WikiLeaks had been around to expose the lies of the U.S. claims of WMD in run-up to Iraq war.  We've also hit NYT ed Bill Keller for slamming Assange when he defended Judy Miller for so long.  Now it all comes together as The Guardian reports on the favorite faux source for Miller, Colin Powell, Rumsfeld and others--the infamous "Curveball"--finally clearly admitting that he made his WMD and "mobile lab" claims up completely.

8:15  The Guardian with update on latest backlash over those cables suggesting Saudis have lied about their oil reserves.

8:00  Glenn Greenwald with major update on the the exploding case of HBGary and others going after him, WikiLeaks, and others, and now Anonymous exposing tens of thousands of emails, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and so on. Palantir  "have decided to place Matthew Steckman, 26 year old engineer, on leave pending a thorough review of his actions."  And much more.

7:50 Big hearing this morning in the U.S. vs. Twitter case in Alexandria and as we noted yesterday, Alan Dershowitz has joined "Team Assange."   And Politico notes contradiction of Hillary Clinton speaking on internet freedom today while just a few miles away U.S. in court attacking same.

7:40   In answer to many requests, you can now order my new and updated The Age of WikiLeaks book not only in print but for Kindle, iPad, Blackberry, Android, web viewing, for only $4.99. And print version still here. Hailed by Dan Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald and others.

12:05  @Kaepora imagines excerpt from  Hillary Clinton's speech on internet freedom: "We believe everyone should have the right to share freely on the Internet. Except Bradley Manning."

12:00 Wall St Journal book reviewer hates Domscheit-Berg but thanks him for at least exposing "'ghastly" Assange.

From late Monday

The HBGary / Anonymous / U.S. Chamber of Commerce "dirty tricks" scandal has now made the Wash Post in big story by Dan Eggen.  Opens:  "A feud between a security contracting firm and a group of guerrilla computer hackers has spilled over onto K Street, as stolen e-mails reveal plans for a dirty-tricks-style campaign against critics of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce....The e-mails revealed, among other things, a series of often-dubious counterintelligence proposals aimed at enemies of Bank of America and the chamber. The proposals included distributing fake documents and launching cyber-attacks."

HBGary has posted response to the Anonymous email hacking (see below), threatening law enforcement action -- and announcing they had pulled their booths and canceled all talks at RSA conference due to alleged "threats."  More:  "In addition to the data theft, HBGary individuals have received numerous threats of violence including threats at our tradeshow booth....In an effort to protect our employees, customers and the RSA Conference community, HBGary has decided to remove our booth and cancel all talks.  HBGary is continuing to work intensely with law enforcement on this matter and hopes to bring those responsible to justice." 

Radio interview with me re: WIkiLeaks and why it's a "big deal."  

Via Wired, "Spy Games: The Plot to Bring Down WikiLeaks."  Yes, it's Aaron Barr and friends.  Love the movie poster.

The fabled Alan Dershowitz joins Assange legal team for the U.S. vs. Twitter hearing tomorrow in Alexandria, VA.

Wired's Kim Zetter with a long piece on The Guardian's WikiLeaks books with some revelations that have not gotten all that much attention, including alleged email hacking at that paper and NYT.

The WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG for Monday, Day 79

As I’ve done for more than 11 weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET in USA. You can contact me at epic1934@aol.com, Read about or order my new book, The Age of WikiLeaks, just updated, in print or as e-book.

UPDATE:  Go here for Tuesday's version of this blog.

8:55  The HBGary / Anonymous / U.S. Chamber of Commerce "dirty tricks" scandal has now made the Wash Post in big story by Dan Eggen.  Opens:  "A feud between a security contracting firm and a group of guerrilla computer hackers has spilled over onto K Street, as stolen e-mails reveal plans for a dirty-tricks-style campaign against critics of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce....The e-mails revealed, among other things, a series of often-dubious counterintelligence proposals aimed at enemies of Bank of America and the chamber. The proposals included distributing fake documents and launching cyber-attacks."

8:45  HBGary has posted response to the Anonymous email hacking (see below), threatening law enforcement action -- and announcing they had pulled their booths and canceled all talks at RSA conference due to alleged "threats."  More:  "A group of aggressive hackers known as 'Anonymous'  illegally broke into computer systems and stole proprietary and confidential information from HBGary, Inc. This breach was in violation of federal and state laws, and stolen information was publicly released without our consent.  In addition to the data theft, HBGary individuals have received numerous threats of violence including threats at our tradeshow booth.

"In an effort to protect our employees, customers and the RSA Conference community, HBGary has decided to remove our booth and cancel all talks.  HBGary is continuing to work intensely with law enforcement on this matter and hopes to bring those responsible to justice." 

7:25  Radio interview with me re: WIkiLeaks and why it's a "big deal."

7:20  If you're a media person or blogger likely to cover or review my new WikiLeaks book, drove me a line at email above and I might just gift you an e-book version (especially if you send along your Amazon or Kindle handle). 

7:05  Via Wired, "Spy Games: The Plot to Bring Down WikiLeaks."  Yes, it's Aaron Barr and friends.  Love the movie poster.

5:35  The fabled Alan Dershowitz joins Assange legal team for the U.S. vs. Twitter hearing tomorrow in Alexandria, VA.

5:30  Wired's Kim Zetter with a long piece on The Guardian's WikiLeaks books with some revelations that have not gotten all that much attention, including alleged email hacking at that paper and NYT.

5:24 In answer to many requests, you can now order my new and updated The Age of WikiLeaks book not only in print but for Kindle, iPad, Blackberry, Android, web viewing, for only $4.99. And print version still here. Hailed by Dan Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald and others.

4:20  Well-known columnist Ed Wasserman wonders what NYT ed Bill Keller really has against Assange. "What gives? Since when is an honest source pilloried? You would have thought Assange had deceived the paper, like the trusted U.S. officials who in 2002 fed The Times garbage about an Iraqi nuclear program and helped dupe the United States into a murderous and needless war. When will a top Times editor publish an account that even names those sources, let alone belittles them for their wardrobes?"

4:05  Important piece by Bill Moyers -- and he even gives me a shout out near the end.

3:30  Here's the ACLU's press release on the big court hearing tomorrow:  "The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will be in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia on Tuesday, February 15 at 10:30 a.m. EST for a hearing in a legal battle over the government’s demands for the records of several Twitter users in connection with an investigation related to WikiLeaks.

"The ACLU and EFF represent Birgitta Jonsdottir, an Icelandic parliamentarian and one of the Twitter users whose records were sought by the government. They have asked the court to unseal the still-secret court records of the government's attempts to collect private records from Twitter, Inc., as well as other companies who may have received demands for information from the government. The groups have also asked the court to overturn the December 14 court order requiring Twitter to provide information about its users.

"The motions were joined by attorneys from the law firm Keker & Van Nest LLP and the Law Office of John D. Cline on behalf of Jacob Appelbaum and Rop Gonggrijp, respectively, as well as local counsel in Virginia. The government has also requested information concerning Appelbaum and Gonggrijp's Twitter accounts."

2:15 WikiLeaks issue press release on tomorrow’s big hearing in Alexandria, Va. in case of US prosecutors trying to get info out of Twitter. “It is understood that Twitter will resist the order, so as to protect the privacy of its customers. Assange said today, ‘This is an outrageous attack by the Obama administration on the privacy and free speech rights of Twitter’s customers—many of them American citizens. More shocking, at this time, is that it amounts to an attack on the right to freedom of association, a freedom that the people of Tunisia and Egypt, for example, spurred on by the information released by Wikileaks, have found so valuable.’ Wikileaks said it was confirmed that other service providers like Google and Facebook and Yahoo may also have been served with a production order back in December, at the same time as Twitter, and may already have provided information to the government by way of a deal under the secrecy provisions introduced by the Patriot Act.”

2:00 Tantalizing item on Swiss paper joining ranks of those with access to cables: “Le Temps will run a series of stories surrounding Wikileaks information. The Swiss newspaper focuses on the 6,000 or so confidential cables that involve Switzerland, notably Switzerland’s relationship with the United States post-9/11 and throughout the UBS banking ordeal. The newspaper says it expects hackers to hit the site after the articles run and is reinforcing its web security as such.”

1:50 Think Progress with latest scoop on US Chamber–gate. FireDogLake with major probe of HPGary affair or “Operation Ratfu$k.”

12:25 Andy Greenberg at Forbes with another valuable post: It seems that the HBGary e-mails (see below) reveal that they weren’t just interested in going after WikiLeaks and supporters like Glenn Greenwald—they also targeted donors. “The security firms ‘need to get people to understand that if they support the organization we will come after them,’ he [Aaron Barr] wrote in an e-mail. ‘Transaction records are easily identifiable.’ ”

11:00 Here’s site for those promised Anonymous hacked emails from HBGary—now 71,000 in number. It’s even searchable. And here’s a WL Central report.

10:50 The Guardian with a rather key correction on quote in its Palestine Papers coverage. Then blogger lays in to them.

10:35 Media in Finland got WikiLeaks cables a few days ago, and now a Peruvian paper got 4,000 pages. It has report on how it got the paper, possibly from Assange directly in England (in Spanish).

9:40: Latest, and longest, comment on WikiLeaks from Hillary Clinton comes via new Harper’s Bazaar of all places: “Clinton approached the issue the way she approaches everything: pragmatically. Over many ‘long days,’ she made call lists and methodically worked her way through them. ‘I told somebody, ‘You know how rock groups go on these global tours? I should have a jacket that says THE APOLOGY TOUR because everywhere I go, I’m apologizing for any embarrassment,” she says wryly.

“The real danger of WikiLeaks, Clinton argues, is ‘a third category where, because of what was exposed, people are physically at risk. They are sources for us, they are human-rights advocates, they are whistle-blowers around the world. So that’s been the most long-lasting damage, and it’s serious damage.’ ”

8:35 Interesting interview w/ social anthropologists who expects Assange to get extradited to Sweden—and in much more danger there of then ending up in USA. Swedish press, more conservative than one might think, less prone to back WikiLeaks and Assange. Gets into Karl Rove (“he has some Swedish roots”) advising political leaders there.

7:35 We mentioned that Four Corners program last night with much on Manning and related issues, now there’s a transcript. Lengthy report on the whole WikiLeaks saga, Manning and Assange, attempts to break him in prison, not a lot new but hits lot of points. Kevin Mitnick, famous hacker himself, raises issues about the Adrian Lamo “chat logs” with Manning: “I call into question the authenticity of those chat logs. Because I know his personality, then I call into question—well if he is the sole person that had access to these chat logs, could’ve he modified them so he would have a great story to tell, so he would attention? I don’t know.”

7:30 More cables show split in NATO between “Gang of 5” (plus Portugal) as allegedly pro-Russian vs. a US-led bloc.

7:20 The Guardian reviews cables on key military and government leader in Egypt now, Tantawi, and finds him wanting. “Nothing Egypt’s military council has done in its past suggests it has the capacity or inclination to introduce speedy and radical change. Guaranteed its $1.3bn (£812m) annual grant from the US.… it has gained the reputation as a hidebound institution with little appetite for reform. The frustration of the military’s American benefactors shines through in leaked US cables, where the criticism focuses mostly on the man at the top, 75-year-old Field Marshal Muhammad Tantawi.”

7:15 Bloomberg: Will Assange legal team’s attack on Swedish justice and prosecutor backfire badly?

7:10 New cables reveal NATO’s view of Russian military as second-rate, relying on old equipment and so on. “Confidential cables from the U.S. mission to NATO released Monday by WikiLeaks said the Russian armed forces were able to respond only to a small to mid-sized local conflict in its western regions.”

12:10 We’ll mark Arcade Fire winning Grammy for best album, in upset, with link (apt for this blog) to them doing “Intervention” on SNL awhile back.

12:05 London’s Independent looks at Guardian and Assange—and is critical of both.

12:00 InfoWorld: 2011 as the year “hacking” goes mainstream. Hack or be hacked.

From late Sunday

@WikiLeaks tweets: “Almost all the important arguments for and against WikiLeaks are in the comments to this blog post at FAS http://is.gd/aMQeDZ.”

Four Corners program says White House trying to “break” Bradley Manning to implicate Assange. David House on Manning and “torture.” Also covers alleged “internal” debate at WikiLeaks over publishing the cables, as it might hurt Manning’s legal chances. Not sure if any of this is new.

Assange’s mum says US has a “fatwa” out against her son—and he has all kinds of “ticks” on his back, whatever that means.

BBC covers Guardian’s Luke Harding’s return to Moscow (we had reported below).

 

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog—Special Weekend Edition!

As I’ve done for more than ten weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET in USA. You can contact me at epic1934@aol.com, Read about or order my new book, The Age of WikiLeaks, just updated, in print  or as e-book

UPDATE   Monday's edition here.

SUNDAY *

9:00 InfoWorld:  2011 as the year "hacking" goes mainstream.  Hack or be hacked.

8:40  @WikiLeaks tweets:  "Almost all the important arguments for and against WikiLeaks are in the comments to this blog post at FAS http://is.gd/aMQeDZ ." 

8:35 As noted earlier, in answer to many requests, you can now order my new and updated The Age of WikiLeaks book not only in print but for Kindle, iPad, Blackberry, Android, web viewing, for only $4.99. And print version still here.    Hailed by Dan Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald and others.

8:30  Four Corners program says White House trying to "break" Bradley Manning to implicate Assange.  David House on Manning and "torture."  Also covers alleged "internal" debate at WikiLeaks over publishing the cables, as it might hurt Manning's legal chances.   Not sure if any of this is new.

8:20  Assange's mum says U.S. has a "fatwa" out against her son -- and he has all kinds of "ticks" on his back, whatever that means.

7:00 London's The Independent looks at Guardian and Assange -- and is critical of both.

4:15  BBC covers Guardian's Luke Harding's return to Moscow (we had reported below).

2:45  Radio/podcast interview with me just posted, via David Alpern, who ran Newsweek On Line for many years (I've done interviews related to my books with him for almost 20 years).  He now captains "For Your Ears Only," and you can check out the entire show here, with my segment (starting with Huff Post, closes with WikiLeaks) starting at 27:55.

1:45 New tweet from Luke Harding of The Guardian, who got the boot from Russia last week (maybe partly WikiLeaks related):   lukeharding1968  "Yes, I'm back in Moscow. "

12:00 If you missed, excerpt from my book on 32 major revelations from Cablegate (and counting).

10:15  I missed this when first broke but here it is now: Anonymou claims it is in possession of Stuxnet worm.

9:45  Radio interview with me re: WikiLeaks clickable here.

9:10  The Australian covers the below and more re: Domscheit-Berg claims.

9:00 Extensive new Assange interview here, out of Australia. Viewer cites a few highlights  for me here:  "(21.25) compares his  travel restrictions and potential  prosecution threats similar to Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush  -  (28.00 ) Hits back at NYT    (35.00)  "Der Spegiel never crossed us"     (39.00) Keller selling Wikileaks down the river to save NYT from the Espionage act.   (40.30) " In USA a very worrying ( potential ) attempt now, a new precedent, in the national security sector: any journalist that corresponds with a source is commiting espionage if at some time a classified communication is made, that is a very dangerous precedent because that is the end of national security investigations..." .current NYT behavior and actions maybe facilitating this..."

SATURDAY

9:30  Tech Crunch reviews book and interviews Guardian's David Leigh, who smashes Assange.

8:55  Two emails from fans in Calif.  One reports seeing in Venice, Ca., bumper sticker with "Jesus Loves WIkileaks." The other sends this: "On Tuesday, February 15th, the Berkeley City Council will vote on a resolution to call 'for the immediate end to the cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of PFC Bradley Manning
during his military confinement.' "

7:30  Wow, what a shock, Assange has a ghostwriter.   In a tough legal fight, U.S. and corporations after him, and still sitting on 245,000 cables and others leaks, but, gee, can't seem to write a book all by himself on tight deadline.

 

7:25  Daily Mail reviews the Domscheit -Breg book: an "unrequited" love story.  "You are all set to read John Le Carre, but find yourself landed with Danielle Steel." 

7:15  @WLLegal: "In upcoming interview, Assange says the AUS govt is providing the US with info about Australians working w/ WikiLeaks  http://bit.ly/f6Nsk4 ." 

3:40  If you missed my book excerpt: When Stephen Colbert met Julian Assange. 

3:30  Reports on today's new cables via WL Central.

10:40  We reported yesterday that Anonymous via AnonLeak would be releasing thousands of hacked HBGary emails, and now they have started.   Email #1 even refers to Stuxnet and gov't agency.  (h/t @exiledsurfer)

9:35  Chief Palestinian peace negotiator steps down due to leaks -- but AFP falsely attributes it to WikiLeaks.

9:05  New Assange video interview on "siginficant" impact of cables in Tunisian revolt  and how that proved to be an  "inspiration" for Egyptian people.  Then the  cables on Egypt had big effect on  dwindling "Western support for Mubarak." 

8:50  Good wrap-up on latest cables related to Saleh and current protests in Yemen at WL  Central.

FRIDAY

11:10 Good piece in NYT by Lipton and Savage on the fallout from this week's revelation, thanks to Anonymous hackers:  "A fight between a group of pro-WikiLeaks hackers and a California-based Internet security business has opened a window onto the secretive world of private companies that offer to help corporations investigate and discredit their critics....Since the hacked e-mails appeared on a file-sharing network several days ago, a broad range of bloggers and journalists have been scouring them and discussing highlights on the Internet. The New York Times also obtained a copy of the archive."   Glenn Greenwald updates his take on this.

11:00  WSJ on cables about key player in Egypt, Defense Minister Tantawi, we've seen reference to him before as "Mubarak's poodle," but there's more, on military declining under him, "disdain" felt for him,  more.  ProPublica with more.


9:45 A second company that plotted against WikiLeaks and supporters has apologized — and more on AnonLeaks, fighting back, good summary by my Nation colleague Kevin Gosztola.

9:35 Mark Stephens, Assange’s attorney, tells Channel 4 in London that statements by Swedish PM may wreck the prosecution’s case in extradition hearing.

8:50 New video (below) at YouTube collecting right-wingers, mainly on Fox, calling for “assassination of Julian Assange.” Set to my man Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” no less.

6:55 Remember the early days of Cablegate when the media focused on Afghan corruption that was even worse than feared? And then pretty much turned the page, with a few notable exceptions? Now check out Dexter Filkins’ piece in new New Yorker, just posted online.


The WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG for Friday, Day 76

As I’ve done for more than ten weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET in USA. You can contact me at epic1934@aol.com, Read about or order my new book, The Age of WikiLeaks, just updated, in print or as e-book.

UPDATE:  Weekend edition of this blog now up here.

8:50  New video (below) at YouTube collecting rightwingers, mainly on Fox, calling for "assassination of Julian Assange." Set to my man Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" no less.

6:55 Remember the early days of Cablegate when the media focused on Afghan corruption that was even worse than feared?  And then pretty much turned the page, with a few notable exceptions? Now check out Dexter Filkins' piece in new New Yorker,  just posted online.

5:15  Here's a PBS "Religion and Ethics" segment on WikiLeaks, prosecution debate, and so on.

3:30  Spencer Ackerman: U.S. national intel chief Clapper in briefing backs off earlier claim that WIkiLeaks had caused U.S. dire harm.  Instead: “The impacts of the WikiLeaks disclosures are still being assessed.”  CIA was not on same computer system cables were stolen from.

3:10  As noted earlier, in answer to many requests, you can now order my new and updated The Age of WikiLeaks book for Kindle, iPad, Blackberry, Android, web viewing, for only $4.99.  And print version still here.  Hailed by Dan Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald and others.  The only full account of revelations and controversies going back to last April.

2:00 Mike McCurry is often described by media folk and Democrats as the best and most judicious of recent WH press scretaries (he served under Clinton).  Yeah at a joint appearance with Dana Perino in Michigan he not only called the WikiLeaks cables an enormous blow to the U.S. fight against terrorism, also: "I've come around on one thing: I don't believe in capital punishment but I might make an exception," McCurry said, referring to Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks. "We've paid a grievous price."

11:40  Forbes:  Anonymous says releasing many thousands more  emails from HPGary server, acting more like WikiLeaks (AnonLeaks?).

11:20  Mubarak quits, and Suleiman bypassed.  Not to make too much of it but:  WikiLeaks cables helped fuel Tunisia revolt, which in turn helped fuel Egypt revolution (aided a bit as well by cables on Mubarak, Suleiman, police, torture).  Will leave the rest to others.

10:10 NYT editorial backs whistleblower bill stalled in Congress, hits wingers for making link to WikiLeaks.

9:45  AP on new cable: "U.S. Diplomat Calls African Dictator a Good Guy." 

9:35  Assange backers release new material on how he helped police crack pedophile ring 20 years ago.

9:20  Glenn Greenwald finally responds to the case of the three data intel firms planning to attack WikiLeaks and its supporters -- most prominently, Greenwald himself.   "I now take this more seriously -- not in terms of my involvement but the broader implications this story highlights.  For one thing, it turns out that the firms involved here are large, legitimate and serious, and do substantial amounts of work for both the U.S. Government and the nation's largest private corporations..."

8:45  Guardian now with full summary of today's hearing.  Assange still on bail but now can report to police in morning instead of late-afternoon, making it easier to go to meetings.

8:20  Judge at hearing announces will not make ruling until Feb. 24.

7:25  Assange's attorney at hearing argues that accuser wrong in claiming Assange used his "body weight" to hold her down -- says this is simply "the missionary position."  Guardian notes that some reporters find detailed account "untweetable."    Then attorney for prosecution cites lack of consent in alleged sex-when-asleep and and lack of consent to sex without condom. 

7:10  From one of my sources at the Norwegian paper:  "25 cables just published @Aftenposten on how the US tried to remove TV station Al-Manar from ME countries: http://bit.ly/f6qoRW ."   Also:  "The U.S had secret sources at office of NATO general secretary  Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Sources were leaking documents and info about Rasmussen’s plans and moves, which stopped several of his planned proposals:  http://bit.ly/hWBim8 "

 6:50  Major Wash Post correction on Bradley Manning, so major it is labeled an editor's note, and confirm suspicions that I (and others) have raised:  " A Feb. 2 Page One article about an Army investigation into the leaking of classified material to the Web site WikiLeaks incorrectly stated that a mental health specialist had recommended against deploying to Iraq the private who was later accused of leaking the files. In its reporting, The Washington Post relied on a military official who had read the Army's investigative findings into the case of Pfc. Bradley E. Manning but who inaccurately recalled some of its contents.

"After publication of the story, portions of the investigative report were read to The Post. The excerpts indicate that there was no formal recommendation from a mental health specialist that Manning not be deployed. Manning's immediate supervisor, an Army master sergeant, required him to seek mental health counseling after he displayed signs of instability. The master sergeant and an Army major then discussed whether to deploy Manning based on concerns that he was a risk to himself and others. The master sergeant and the unit's commander, a captain, decided to send him to Iraq because the unit was short of intelligence personnel, because Manning's behavior had started to improve, and because he seemed receptive to therapy."

6:40  Assange hearing well underway, in fact, his attorney Robertson in closing argument.  Go to Guardian live-blog for blow-by-blow or stay tuned here  One big charge is the attorney hitting Swedish prime minister for blasting Assange, meaning he can't get fair trial there.

12:05  Speaking of naming secrets:  Ex-CIA agent charges he and family were sickened by toxins at secret facility, and can't write about it.  Wash Post  accepts CIA request to keep secret facility secret. in story by Jeff Stein.  NYT names it in Charlie Savage piece.  It's just north of San Antonio.  Will gov't go after Times and Savage? Doubt it.

12:00  Good  event in NYC Friday, 2:30 at Columbia U., Amy Goodman with Carl Bernstein, Clay Shirky, Evgeny Morozov, "Breaking the Sound Barrier....Information is power and controlling the flow of information in the age of globalization is the ultimate power."  ... Nearly lost in the frenzy over the Domscheit-Berg book, then events in Egypt, was that....Assange back in court Friday for final day of hearing on sex crime extradition.  Ruling could come today, or....not.

From earlier Thursday

CEO of one of three data intel firms exposed yesterday for planning to attack WikiLeaks on behalf of BOA has cut ties -- and, remarkably, apologized to a prime target, Glenn Greenwald (and othe progressives).

WikiLeaks pushing sales in their new shop today.  Yes, beyond the expected mugs and t-shirts (many with Assange's face on them), they now have scarves, duffel bags, laptop sleeves, and umbrellas. 5% off today!

Jack Goldsmith, former asst atty general under Bush,  in Wash Post op-ed: Why U.S. should not go after Assange. "The government should fully investigate how this major breach of national security occurred. But prosecuting Assange would be a mistake. The first problem with going after Assange is that the effort is likely to fail....A failed attempt to prosecute Assange would be worse than not prosecuting him. It would make the United States look even more ineffectual than it does as a result of the leak."

Cables this week painted Argentina gov’t allowing much corruption to go on. Now a vtop official there denounces US diplomats who are a “lazy joke…. They gather cheap gossip from opposition websites in order to justify their paychecks.”

 

The WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG for Thursday, Day 75

As I’ve done for more than ten weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET in USA. You can contact me at epic1934@aol.com, Read about or order my new book, The Age of WikiLeaks, just updated, in print or as e-book.

UPDATE:   Go here for the Friday version of this blog already up.

10:40  CEO of one of three data intel firms exposed yesterday for planning to attack WikiLeaks on behalf of BOA has cut ties -- and, remarkably, apologized to a prime target, Glenn Greenwald.

9:40  WikiLeaks pushing sales in their new shop today.  Yes, beyond the expected mugs and t-shirts (many with Assange's face on them), they now have scarves, duffel bags, laptop sleeves, and umbrellas. 5% off today!

8:40  Jack Goldsmith, former asst atty general under Bush,  in Wash Post op-ed: Why U.S. should not go after Assange. "The government should fully investigate how this major breach of national security occurred. But prosecuting Assange would be a mistake. The first problem with going after Assange is that the effort is likely to fail....A failed attempt to prosecute Assange would be worse than not prosecuting him. It would make the United States look even more ineffectual than it does as a result of the leak."

8:25 As noted earlier, in answer to many requests, you can now order my new and updated The Age of WikiLeaks book for Kindle, iPad, Blackberry, Android, web viewing, for only $4.99. Print version still here.

5:15 Cables this week painted Argentina gov’t allowing much corruption to go on. Now a vtop official there denounces US diplomats who are a “lazy joke…. They gather cheap gossip from opposition websites in order to justify their paychecks.”

5:00 Think Progress with exclusive on data firms part of the planned attack on WikiLeaks (and supporters like Glenn Greenwald) also involved with U.S. Chamber of Commerce intrigue.

4:45 WikiLeaks satire site with its own “cables,” launched by Onion vets. SILVIO BERLUSCONI RECEIVES $300 (US) EVERY TIME A NEW OLIVE GARDEN OPENS And so on. SECURITY OFFICIALS: IRAQI DETAINEES ACCIDENTALLY WALKED INTO SEVERAL BLUNT OBJECTS, FELL ONTO LIVE ELECTRICAL WIRE, ETC.

2:55 As some may know, I have had some fun for the past couple months with UFO fans expecting big revelations in the cables, after they totally misread Assange comments. They’ve been disappointed so far, though I ran an item last week about expert who claimed that Assange himself is a space alien (as revealed by his 60 MInutes interview). Well, now there’s a new claim about UFOlogist who supposedly predicted that cable about Saudis (maybe) overstating their oil reserves. Just a matter of whether he got that scoop directly from aliens or not…

2:50 Wikileaks handed a file with 3,000 cables to the newspaper La Jornada this morning and publication has started. The cables are dated between 1989 and 2010.

1:25 Just got press release from ACLU: “The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will be in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia on Tuesday, February 15 at 10:30 a.m. EST for a hearing in a legal battle over the government’s demands for the records of several Twitter users in connection with an investigation related to WikiLeaks.

“The ACLU and EFF represent Birgitta Jonsdottir, an Icelandic parliamentarian and one of the Twitter users whose records were sought by the government. They have asked the court to unseal the still-secret court records of the government’s attempts to collect private records from Twitter, Inc., as well as other companies who may have received demands for information from the government. The groups have also asked the court to overturn the December 14 court order requiring Twitter to provide information about its users.”

12:30 WikiLeaks’s twitter feed only response so far today to Domscheit-Berg: “Assange abused my cat: WikiLeaks insider” http://is.gd/3fCdtH

12:10 At TomDispatch: An “opening statement” in defense of Bradley Manning—as patriot, not criminal.

11:25 Council for Foreign Relations blog reports on energy blogosphere in a “tizzy” over that cable about Saudi’s and peak oil but suggests everyone cool it because far from confirmed.

10:40 Good piece by Jeff Stein at Wash Post on those cables revealing FBI has trained Egyptian police. He says, yes, this has given the FBI a “black eye” but they are generally known for opposing torture and the training was probably to inject human rights concerns. Accuses Telegraph of throwing “mudball.”

9:40 Now Der Spiegel (former WikiLeaks partner) out with full report on Domscheit-Berg book. Some praise, but also calls it “redundant,” too much “detail” at times, shaky writing and hackers will hate it. Plus: “The fact that Assange sometimes wears the same clothes for days on end is already common knowledge, for example. Domscheit-Berg’s book reveals the additional detail that Assange apparently likes to eat with his hands and then wipes them on his pants. But instead of such gossip, the book could have benefitted from greater analysis, for example on questions such as what political influence WikiLeaks has had and how the platform’s relationship to the media has developed.”

9:35 Yeah, Telegraph is running the Wiki cables, but still has space on its home page for stuff like this: “Teenage girl collapses and dies after her first kiss.”

9:10 CNN covers Domscheit-Berg and his press conference today. Mentions my book at the end, to boot!

8:45 And one more scoop via Wired on Domscheit-Berg book, this claim: “In June 2009 long before the New York Times became a WikiLeaks media partner, PayPal froze WikiLeaks’ account over questions about its nonprofit status. A female journalist from the New York Times intervened with PayPal and got the account unfrozen for WikiLeaks telling PayPal that WikiLeaks was ‘being supported by the New York Times.’”

8:35 More from D-B book as broken by Wired: How did freelance journo Heather Brooke get her copy of the 249,000 diplomatic cables, about which she then informed the Guardian, allowing them to pass their set on to the NYT? According to the book, as told by Wired: “Assange passed the U.S. diplomatic cables to an Icelandic volunteer to consider ways to present them graphically, but the volunteer passed them to freelance journalist Heather Brooke, breaking the security chain established for the documents. When WikiLeaks found out, Hrafnsson made the Icelander sign a declaration saying the documents had been taken from him illegally.”

8:30 Wired with more excerpts and claims from the Domscheit-Berg book (see more below). One: Assange has always claimed that he decided himself to withhold 14,000 docs from the Afghan war logs releases until names could be redacted, but D-B asserts that the media partners requested it.

8:20 Latest news flash from the Domscheit-Berg book (see below): Assange also allegedly abused his cat. But cat took revenge.

8:10 Deliberate, mistake, funny or what? In its Twitter feed, WikiLeaks consistently misspells Domscheit-Berg’s name, reversing the “ei.”

7:50 AP Leaks: Gets copy of Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s anti-Assange book and breaks embargo with this full report. “WikiLeaks’ original mission to ‘control the power executed behind closed doors and to create transparency, where it was being denied’ deteriorated into a situation in which the group was ‘gradually corrupted by power and secrecy itself,’ he writes.”

7:40 New cable suggests Cuba better able to deal with economic problems now than when under Soviet sway.

7:30 Moscow Times hits Russia booting out Luke Harding (who has written often on WikiLeaks) of the Guardian.

7:25 If you are curious (hello) how the English-language press in Sweden might be covering the Assange sex case.

12:00 Some questions raised about that cable suggesting Saudi oil reserves 40 percent lower than claimed… Egyptian ‘torturers’ trained by FBI?… Now go watch the Arcade Fire NYC concert back up at YouTube in entirety. Yeah, I can taste the fear.

From late Wednesday

Andy Greenberg’s blog at Forbes back up, see Andy there: for the day’s wild charges and counter-charges between Daniel Domscheidt-Berg (in book and interview) and WikiLeaks. And here is WikiLeaks’ latest statement on all that.

Full document and slides from firms that wanted to help BOA bring down WikiLeaks, not to mention supporters like Glenn Greenwald and Birgitta Jonsdottir.

We reported earlier Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s claims that WikiLeaks much-touted bank release (BOA?) was actually, from what he knew as a former insider, was actually quite “unspectacular.” Now Mark Hosenball at Reuters, who has followed WikiLeaks closely, reports that three people (presumably one of them Domscheit-Berg) has told him that the bank documents are, in fact, a “dud,” with the latest docs from 2006. Still awaiting Assange response to this and other new claims.

@WLLegal tweets about claims that the bank release is a “snore,” thusly: “I wonder what the 20 person BoA #Wikileaks War Room is for then.”

Telegraph with new cable: Mubarak urged Cheney “three or four times” not to invade Iraq. And more Suleiman and Israel stuff here.

Like this Blog Post? Read it on the Nation’s free iPhone App, NationNow.

WikiLeaks vs. Donald Rumsfeld: Whom Do You Believe?

The new memoir by former Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld has drawn wide criticism for his failure to accept any blame on the Iraq and Afghanistan fiascoes, and his claims that when he and others promoted falsehoods about Iraq WMD they were merely minor "misstatements," not lies. But among his other misdeeds was offering misleading statements to the American public about the progress of the war in Iraq, often blaming journalists for being far too critical.

WikiLeaks' massive "war logs" release on Iraq last October exposed Rumsfeld in this regard over and over, but were quickly forgotten by mainstream journalists -- even though the material was not "political" or even from the media but rather from U.S. soldiers on the ground. That's one reason I cover them in-depth (along with all the other WIkiLeaks releases and current controversies) in my new book The Age of WikiLeaks.

There are far too many examples exposing Rumsfeld's guilt -- here's a full account by our old friend David Corn --  but the best brief illustration comes in the following. When Ellen Knickmeyer covered the Iraq war, at its worst point, for the Washington Post, we profiled her at my old magazine Editor & Publisher, and I stayed in touch with her long afterward, and to this day, as she moved on. Among other things, she is filing pieces for the Foreign Policy site now.

Here's an excerpt from what Knickmeyer wrote at the Daily Beast shortly after the Iraq war logs emerged, as their import was being trashed by her former employer, the Washington Post, and many politicians and pundits. The headline told it all: WikiLeaks Exposes Rumsfeld's Lies.

"In the dark morning hours of Feb. 22, 2006," she recalled, "a group of unknown attackers detonated bombs in the northern Iraqi city of Samarra, bringing down the golden dome of a revered Shia Muslim shrine....During visits to Baghdad's morgue over the next two days, I saw Sunni families thronging to find the bodies of loved ones killed by the militias. The morgue's computer registrar told the grim-faced families and me that we would have to be patient; the morgue had taken in more than 1,000 bodies since the Samarra bombing, and was way behind on processing corpses....

"Here's the thing, though: According to then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his top commanders, it never happened. These killings, these dead, did not exist. According to them, reporters like myself were lying. 'The country is not awash in sectarian violence,' the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. George Casey said, on talk show after talk show, making the rounds to tell the American home-front not to worry. Civil war? 'I don't see it happening, certainly anytime in the near term,' he said, as he denied the surge in sectarian violence....

"Donald Rumsfeld held a news conference at the Pentagon to say that U.S. press reports of killings--such as mine that estimated 1,300 dead in the immediate aftermath of the bombing, based on what I had seen at the morgue, interviews with Sunni survivors, U.N. and Iraq health officials--were calculated 'exaggerated reporting.'' Iraqi security forces, he said, 'were taking the lead in controlling the situation,' everything he assured his listeners was 'calming.'

"American journalists in Baghdad were under attack not just from Iraqi insurgents, but, at least verbally, from our own country's civilian and military commanders as well."

Of course, "calming" was a lie and many months of vicious sectarian violence continued. "Thanks to WikiLeaks, though," Knickmeyer concluded, "I now know the extent to which top American leaders lied, knowingly, to the American public, to American troops, and to the world, as the Iraq mission exploded. The American troops, who were risking their lives on the ground, witnessed and documented it themselves... Despite the statements of the top U.S. commanders at the time, it wasn't the journalists in Baghdad who were lying."

Greg Mitchell's "The Age of WikiLeaks"  is his eleventh book, also out now as an e-book.

 

The WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS Blog for Wednesday, Day 74

As I’ve done for more than ten weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET in USA. You can contact me at epic1934@aol.com, Read about or order my new book, The Age of WikiLeaks, just updated, in print or as e-book.

UPDATE: Go here for the Thursday edition of this blog.

11:05 Andy Greenberg's blog at Forbes back up, see link below for the day's wild charges and counter-charges.  Now go watch the Arcade Fire NYC concert back up at YouTube in entirety.  Yeah, I can taste the fear.

9:20  Andy Greenberg's blog is still (mysteriously) down, see below for background and earlier back-and-forth today, but good guy Raffi Khatchadourian has sent along the Domscheit-Berg reply to WikiLeaks response, as posted by Andy  there

* WikiLeaks has not taken legal action. I have received a letter from German attorney Johannes Eisenberg representing Julian that does not mention any law or regulation I have implicated, violated or whatever. It is a mere statement, written in the worst German I ever read, and it is not even spelling my name correctly. I would recommend everyone to watch the BBC Panorama show on WikiLeaks, that is related to that letter.

* I have never sabotaged WikiLeaks, including its primary submission system.

* The overhaul of the system is needed because the owner and developer of that system has decided to no longer allow WikiLeaks to use it, due to the lack of trust in Julian and the way he is leading this organisation, and Julian behaving irresponsibly with source material.

* I never had access to that primary submission system, its code, received submissions or whatever. There was a clear separation of duties.

* I have never claimed to be a programmer, director, founder or architect. I was a  spokesperson for the project, not the spokesperson, and have never claimed otherwise. You can check international media that I have handled if you feel my role was restricted to Germany only.

* I hold two degrees in computer science and worked for around 6 years as a network security engineer. Do you need copies of the degrees?

* I have never claimed to have had an email address before 2008. I recommend everyone to read the story about Kristinn's official mail account in my book. It seriously is hilarious.

* I acted as an editor as much as I have an understanding of what an editors role is.

8:25 Andy Greenberg just tweeted that he got a response from Domscheit-Berg to WikiLeaks' response to his response to Assange in his new book (see below), but Andy's blog seems to be down.  See if it's back up here. Hacked off?

6:10  As promised, Andy Greenberg of Forbes got response from WikiLeaks spokesman in response to the Domscheit-Berg claims in new book and interviews. "' A statement sent to me by spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson says that WikiLeaks is taking legal action against Domscheit-Berg, and accuses him of  'various acts of sabotage....The former WikiLeaks staffer admits to having damaged the site’s primary submission system and stolen material,' the statement reads.

"It goes on to downplay Domscheit-Berg’s role in WikiLeaks and deny that he ever worked as a computer programmer. 'He has falsely misrepresented himself in the press as a programmer, computer-scientist, security expert, architect, editor, founder, director and spokesman,'  the statement reads. 'He cannot program and wrote not a single program for the organization, at any time....His accounts of the crucial times in WikiLeaks history since April last year are therefore based upon limited information or malicious falsifications."

5:30  Full document and slides from firms that wanted to help BOA bring down WikiLeaks, not to mention supporters like Glenn Greenwald and Birgitta Jonsdottir.

5:25  @WLLegal tweets about claims that the bank release is a "snore," thusly:  "I wonder what the 20 person BoA #Wikileaks War Room is for then."

5:20  Jim Naureckas tweets about one of today's big stories:  "The news is not that CIA promoted torturers--it's that AP used torturers' (first) names. http://yhoo.it/hjeHaJ ." 

5:00 Telegraph with new cable: Mubarak urged Cheney "three or four times" not to invade Iraq. And more Suleiman and Israel stuff here.

3:00  We reported earlier Daniel Domscheit-Berg's claims that WikiLeaks much-touted bank release (BOA?) was actually, from what he knew as a former insider, was actually quite "unspectacular."   Now Mark Hosenball at Reuters, who has followed WikiLeaks closely, reports that three people (presumably one of them Domscheit-Berg) has told him that the bank documents are, in fact, a "dud," with the latest docs from 2006.  Still awaiting Assange response to this and other new claims.

2:05 Just out from AP based on new cable: “Corruption Unpunished in Argentina.”

1:35 New version of my piece earlier today, now here at The Nation, on WikiLeaks vs. RummyLeaks: The Lies of Rumsfeld. Greatest Rumsfeld quote ever, from 2002, on Iraq WMD: A “trained ape” knows they have them. Ergo, Rumsfeld = Trained Ape. Trained by Cheney?

1:20 Al Jazeera with video report on explosive cable (as we reported last night) revealing that Saudi oil reserves might be 40% less than they claim. (h/t Kevin Gosztola)

12:50 As noted earlier, in answer to many requests, you can now order my WikiLeaks book for Kindle, iPad, Blackberry, Android, web viewing, for only $4.99. Print version still here.

12:40 Andy Greenberg at Forbes with lengthy take on blockbuster assertions by Daniel Domscheit-Berg (see below) today, in interview and book excerpts, re: WikiLeaks and Assange in disarray, and more. He promises respond from WikiLeaks. “WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson, reached by phone, tells me that WikiLeaks is preparing a statement in response to Domscheit-Berg’s claims. He said that Domscheit-Berg’s account of Hrafnsson’s own involvement with the Collateral Murder video is a ‘fabrication,’ but declined to comment further until the group’s statement is released. ‘This has to be handled carefully,’ Hrafnsson added.”

11:20 Amazing piece on three data intelligence firms proposing a systematic plan of attack vs. Wikileaks to Bank of America. And involved going after Salon’s Glenn Greenwald. Suggests that without help of people like him Wikileaks would “fold” but supporters like him with “liberal bent” if “pushed” will choose “professional preservation over cause.”

11:15 New excerpt from my book published at Huff Post: “WikiLeaks vs. Donald Rumsfeld’s Lies: An Eyewitness Account.”

10:25 Quotes from Daniel Domscheit-Berg interview with Der Stern today, now translated. Confirms earlier reports that he took stuff from WIkiLeaks when left. He says NOT the Bank of America docs, but claims those are old and “unspectacular.”

10:00 I’m told that Crown is now sending out review copies of the Daniel Domscheit-Berg book in U.S., embargoed for February 11 — so, as usual, expect full embargo breaking any minute.

9:55 Huff Post with first except from Micah Sifry upcoming book.

9:25 Wild: Cryptome has alleged excerpts from Daniel Domscheit-Berg upcoming WIkiLeaks book. But then see comments below the excerpts for responses, “corrections,” and lengthy note from Domscheit-Berg himself. There are copies of a few pages and passages from book. A lot on Assange and women and how Domscheit-Berg and “the architect” took some material for “safe-keeping” when they left group.

9:15 Yes, there’s a new “Americans for Assange” site. Now, who will get in trouble at work for going there?

8:55 We noted this last night but now much debate over whether release of cable on Saudis allegedly having 40% less oil reserves than they have claimed proves that the “peak oil” fears are justified. Sure to get more attention today. Here is a Fast Company report.

8::40 Micah Sifry tweets: @Mlsif: White House Launches “AdvisorLeaks”—Safe Drop Where Anyone Can Email Top Advisors Policy Tips http://bit.ly/hHVYZR

8:00 And now the Russians hit back: Pravda on the forced exit of Luke Harding of the Guardian (and co-author of their WikiLeaks book) from the country, includes denial of WikiLeaks link. Reporter has been replying to such @LukeHarding1968

7:55 Robert Scheer at Truthdig hits White House on Egypt and advises, “Hey, Obama, Just Read WikiLeaks.”

7:50WSJ: “U.S. Struggling to Build Case Against Assange.” A big problem: no evidence of direct link to Manning.

7:45 Big AP story on CIA’s “grave mistakes,” that ends up using first names of some of the CIA agents, though claim they are protecting it’s more “age of WikiLeaks” stuff.

7:30 As noted earlier, exciting news: Just up, you can now order my WikiLeaks book for Kindle, iPad, Blackberry, Android, web viewing, for only $4.99. Print version still here. Ebook via Amazon in UK here.

12:00 The Guardian: new cable includes warning that Saudis may have overstated their oil reserves by FORTY percent, meaning prices will rise and supplies dwindle.

From late Tuesday

10:55 Those unsealed documents (see below) now available for viewing. ACLU press release: “The ACLU and EFF represent Birgitta Jonsdottir, an Icelandic parliamentarian and one of the Twitter users whose records were sought by the government. The motion was joined by attorneys from the law firm Keker & Van Nest LLP and the Law Office of John D. Cline on behalf of Jacob Appelbaum and Rop Gonggrijp, respectively, as well as local counsel in Virginia. The government had also requested information concerning Appelbaum and Gonggrijp’s Twitter accounts.”

10:40 Forbes on tonight’s big news on EFF and ACLU and the Alexandria grand jury of WIkileaks, records to come? “They are now able to release motions they’ve made to overturn the government’s request to Twitter for information about WikiLeaks’ supporters and to find out which other companies have been asked to cough up information, according to an EFF press release.” McClatchy covers here.

10:25 WikiLeaks posted link to this trailer for an upcoming WikiLeaks doc that features both Assange and Michael Moore….”Revolution Truth.”

The WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG for Tuesday, Day 73

As I’ve done for more than ten weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET in USA. You can contact me at epic1934@aol.com. Read about or order my new book, The Age of WikiLeaks: From Collateral Murder to Cablegate, print here. e-book here.

UPDATED   Go to this blog for Wednesday.

10:55 Those unsealed documents (see below) now available for viewing. ACLU press release:  "The ACLU and EFF represent Birgitta Jonsdottir, an Icelandic parliamentarian and one of the Twitter users whose records were sought by the government. The motion was joined by attorneys from the law firm Keker & Van Nest LLP and the Law Office of John D. Cline on behalf of Jacob Appelbaum and Rop Gonggrijp, respectively, as well as local counsel in Virginia. The government had also requested information concerning Appelbaum and Gonggrijp's Twitter accounts."

10:40  Forbes on tonight's big news on EFF and ACLU and the Alexandria grand jury of WIkileaks, records to come?  "They are now able to release motions they’ve made to overturn the government’s request to Twitter for information about WikiLeaks’ supporters and to find out which other companies have been asked to cough up information, according to an EFF press release."  McClatchy covers here.

10:35  The Guardiannew cable includes warning that Saudis may have overstated their oil reserves by FORTY percent, meaning prices will rise and supplies dwindle.

10:25  WikiLeaks posted link to this trailer for an upcoming WikiLeaks doc that features both Assange and Michael Moore...."Revolution Truth."

4:45  Assange, up against the wall!  Literally.

4:25  Guardian now has full story on today's hearing, with  text messages by women (long rumored) the key, with claims of "revenge" and making money.  To be concluded Friday.

3:10 Foreign Policy continues its great efforts today on new cables, with full report on US, UK and France deal on Sudan leader: “During the summer of 2008, Britain, France, and the United States discussed the possibility of delaying the Internatoinal Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into Sudanese President Omar Hussein al-Bashir—if Bashir’s government played ball in Darfur and Southern Sudan.”

2:40 Assange attorney after hearing calls the case “Hamlet without the princess,” referring to Swedish prosecutor. Also video here at Telegraph of Assange speaking late today, claiming new findings on prosecutorial abuse.

2:20 Reuters: Cable shows China “auditing” CitiBank, intrusive and “hostile” effort and what reveals about Chinese actions against all.

1:35 Great Foreign Policy piece on what cables reveal about mysterious (poisoning?) death of former Chilean leader (and eventual Pinochet critic) Frei, what has always been their “equivalent of the JFK assassination” at least in terms of conspiracy theories. “Less than one hour after his death, doctors from the Catholic University Pathological Anatomy Department came to Clinica Santa Maria and performed an autopsy of Frei without the family’s consent. The highly unusual autopsy was allegedly performed in the hospital room where Frei died, using a ladder to hang the body upside down in order to drain bodily fluids into the bathtub. Some organs, and in particular those whose chemical compositions might indicate poisoning, were removed and destroyed, and the body was embalmed.”

1:30 As noted earlier, exciting news: Just up, you can now order my WikiLeaks book for Kindle, iPad, Blackberry, Android, web viewing, for only $4.99. Thanks to the dozens of you abroad who have told me you have been waiting for this! Print version still here. Ebook via Amazon in UK here.

12:25 Assange hearing adjourns, closing arguments Friday, full play-by-play here.

12:20 If you missed earlier today: Major piece at Business Insider just posted, a lengthy interview with me about WIkiLeaks impact, media handling, my new book and this blog, more. Headline: “Greg Mitchell Explains Why The Mainstream Press Is So Threatened By WikiLeaks.”

11:50 Fun Foreign Policy post on cables re: Baghdad Zoo now hottest family visiting spot there. Has Saddam’s old stallion, Uday’s cheetah, and—drunken bears! “The Baghdad Zoo also featured some primitive practices, including the daily slaughter of two donkeys to feed the lions, and some modern flourishes, such as exotic fish with an image of the Iraqi flag lasered permanently into their scales. (NOTE: These fish sport the old Iraqi flag. Zoo staff could not predict whether they will employ laser surgery to amend these now-outlawed, swimming flags. END NOTE)”

11:15 Ouch: judge says Assange hearing may continue to March.

10:40 Latest testimony at Assange hearing makes you wonder if it will come down to: was one of the accusers “asleep” or “half-asleep”?

10:25 We linked to and displayed the first Assange “Roundtable” video a couple of days ago—noting that a portrait of our hero, Beethoven, hangs over his right shoulder—but Andy Greenberg at Forbes has now transcribed a key part of it, plus posted the video again.

10:15 Assange hearing has resumed for afternoon. WIll there be ruling at end? Will bail terms be changed?

10:10 John Burns, Assange antagonist at NYT, can’t resist referring to his “wide-eyed fans” in piece on hearing.

9:20 Great piece by Spencer Ackerman at Wired on how Donald Rumsfeld is “WikiLeaking” himself for new book—he has post primary source material at book site, from his time at Pentagon, that he thinks helps his not-to-blame arguments, involving Iraq, Afghanistan and more. Ackerman calls it “RummyLeaks” and concludes: “But we’ll see if Rumsfeld’s new transparency strategy provides him with much public vindication.”

9:15 Exciting news: Just up, you can now order my WikiLeaks book for Kindle, iPad, Blackberry, Android, web viewing, for only $4.99. Thanks to the dozens of you abroad who have told me you have been waiting for this! Print version still here.

9:10 AFP wrapup on this morning’s session at Assange hearing. Here is the Guardian’s in-depth blow by blow. Dave Winer’s WikiRiver has key links.

8:40 Major piece at Business Insider just posted, a lengthy interview with me about WIkiLeaks impact, media handling, my new book and this blog, more. Headline: “Greg Mitchell Explains Why The Mainstream Press Is So Threatened By WikiLeaks.”

8:15 Foreign Policy with full wrap-up of reporting by Guardian’s Harding who got kicked out of Russia yesterday. Meanwhile, his co-author on WikiLeaks book David Leigh slamming Assange on Twitter for making deal with Moscow paper to publish cables.

8:10 Major ProPublica piece on new cables revealing a top Egyptian player (and it’s not Suleiman).

7:45 One of my reporter friends at Aftenposten, Norway, paper that has been posting cables for the past six weeks, tells me, “Daniel Domscheit-Berg claims in his Wikileaks book that Aftenposten paid for access to Cablegate. That is a lie. It was free.”

7: 40 Catch up with the morning Assange hearing action at Guardian blog. Seems to be split views on whether a ruling coming late today or not. Here’s Twitter feed collecting the eighteen reporters live-tweeting the hearing: @_o8/assange-court-feb-6

7:35 The Overnight Report (by Asher Wolf):  John Crace at The Guardian on how WikiLeaks cables show diplomacy is a madhouse… The Australian has a particularly catty write-up of everything Julian Assange has ever been quoted saying that could be potentially construed as sleazy

7:30 I’ve appreciated the dozens of letters and tweets I’ve gotten from people around the globe who say they want to order a copy of my new WikiLeaks book but find the shipping costs to some countries prohibitive (despite the low cover price of $11.95). Soon, tomorrow or Wednesday, they’ll be able to get it on Kindle or various Kindle apps for the web, iPad, Blackberry, Android and other places, for just $4.99. Print page still here. I’ll let you know when e-book avaiilable.

From late Monday

Fun piece by Rundle at Crikey about sneaking into Assange hearing today with “Wiki Kids” and Bianca Jagger. Good joke about guards asking John Burns to check his “hatchet” at the door, and then in truth Assange and Burns studiously avoiding each other on a lunch break.

Guardian editorial on their man Luke Harding getting the boot out of Russia (we had much on this earlier), probably due to WikiLeaks reporting.

New cable on Egypt—see #6c for great take on Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and the regime.

I’m told much-touted BBC Panorama show on WikiLeaks postponed tonite for Egypt show—simply more timely or too close to Assange hearing?

Andy Greenberg at Forbes tells us he corrected earlier link (which we carried) to the online store now sellng WikiLeaks items as fundraising tool fo group. Here, he says, is correct site.

Telegraph suggests new cables show Egypt’s Suleiman as Israel’s man in Cairo, with a “hot line” set up to chat with him, and Israelis viewing him as most likely to succeed Mubarak (as now seems possible).

Now NYT covers Guardian reporter who has covered WikiLeaks getting booted from Russia today (see much more below this afternoon).

Like this Blog Post? Read it on the Nation’s free iPhone App, NationNow.

When Reagan Became a Republican: Inspired by 'Tricky Dick'

It’s well-known, of course, that Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat, but when exactly did he cast his first ballot for a Republican? When I was researching my book Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady, all signs seemed to point to the infamous 1950 race for the US Senate in California between Richard Nixon and Helen Gahagan Douglas.

Reagan, in the mid-1940s, had flirted with leftish groups and even ended up on one of Myron Fagan’s blacklists. He was considered so far left that Douglas organizers would not let him take a public part in her maiden race for Congress that in 1944, deemng him “too hot to handle,” as one of them put it. (The writer Howard Fast later claimed, rightly or not, that Reagan “desperately” wanted to join the Communist Party.) But a few years later he apparently agreed to serve as an FBI informant on Screen Actors Guild (which he headed) activities, with the ID number of “T-10,” and appeared as a friendly witness before the House Unamerican Activities Committee.

Obsessed with politics, Reagan had drawn interest as a candidate himself for the Senate seat in 1950 but did not jump at it. Instead he continued his anti-Communist drive, and wrote a guest column for Victor Reisel in which he declared, “We’ve gotten rid of the Communist conspirators in Hollywood,” and called on all exposed Reds to rat on their former associates.

At some point early in 1950, Reagan donated $50 to the Douglas campaign but when her managers went back for more they were rebuffed. On October 23, Douglas sent him a brief note thanking him for his “help and support,” but it was quite cool, addressing him not as Ron or Ronnie but “Ronald Reagan.”

By then his support for Douglas had evaporated. For almost a year he had been dating the politically conservative actress Nancy Davis. One of Nancy’s best friends was Zasu Pitts, a pal of J. Edgar Hoover and a leading Nixon activist in Hollywood. Earlier that year, Zasu had phoned Hedda Hopper to report that in the mid-1930s, Helen and husband Melvyn Douglas had helped organize a farmers’ union in South Carolina that was later revealed to be a Communist front. Later she smeared Helen Douglas so savagely the candidate considered suing her for slander. Nancy Davis at one point took Reagan to a meeting where Pitts railed against Douglas.

Reagan was close to another Nixon activist, actor Dick Powell. In previous years, they argued heatedly about politics, but then came 1950. Powell’s wife, actress June Allyson, later explained, “I do not whether it was Richard [Dick Powell] or Nancy and her staunchly Republican family who finally switched Ronnie. I only know that Richard, chortling with glee, took full credit for it.”

One night, not long before election day, actor Robert Cummings received a phone call from Reagan (he wrote in a memoir). Cummings had Republican leanings but not strong ones, and had his own political disputes with Reagan when they acted in King’s Row in 1942. Cummings considered Reagan one of the most honorable men in town and joked that he ought to run for president some day.

Cummings would re-create that phone conversation this way:

“I’m trying to help a senator get elected and we’re giving a party for him tomorrow night,” Reagan reportedly said. “Can you come?”

“Who is the senator?”

“His name is Richard Nixon.”

“But isn’t he a Republican?”

“I’ve switched,” Reagan announced, according to this account. “I sat down and made a list of the people I know, and the most admired people I know are Republicans.”

Of course, Cummings may have imagined this; no evidence of Reagan hosting a party has turned up. But his lack of offering further help, or money or any support for Douglas in the fall campaign — despite efforts to secure any of it — supports the view that indeed he did back Nixon on election day.

Greg Mitchell’s latest book is The Age of WikiLeaks: From Collateral Murder to Cablegate (and Beyond).

 

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Monday, Day 72

As I’ve done for more than ten weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET in USA. You can contact me at epic1934@aol.com. Read about or order my new book, The Age of WikiLeaks: From Collateral Murder to Cablegate, here. 

11:25  Another shocking leak released!  Actually it's just a little antifreeze or engine oil on the New York City pavement, shot by yours truly.

Car engine leakage, NYC street

9:10 Fun piece by Rundle at Crikey about sneaking into Assange hearing today with "Wiki Kids" and Bianca Jagger.  Good joke about guards asking John Burns to check his "hatchet" at the door, and then in truth Assange and Burns studiously avoiding each other on a lunch break.

9:00 Guardian editorial on their man Luke Harding getting the boot out of Russia (we had much on this earlier), probably due to WikiLeaks reporting.

7:15  New cable on Egypt -- see #6c for great take on Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and the regime.

7:10  I've appreciated the dozens of letters and tweets I've gotten from people around the globe who say they want to order a copy of my new WikiLeaks book but find the shipping costs to some countries prohibitive (despite the low cover price of $11.95).  Soon, tomorrow or Wednesday, they'll be able to get it on Kindle or various Kindle apps for the web, iPad, Blackberry, Android and other places, for just $4.99.   Print page still here.   I'll let you know when e-book avaiilable.

5:55  I'm told much-touted BBC Panorama show on WikiLeaks postponed tonite for Egypt show --simply more timely or too close to Assange hearing?

5:50  Andy Greenberg at Forbes tells us he corrected earlier link (which we carried) to the online store now sellng WikiLeaks items as fundraising tool fo group.  Here, he says, is correct site.

5:15   Telegraph suggests new cables show Egypt's Suleiman as Israel's man in Cairo, with a "hot line" set up to chat with him, and Israelis viewing him as most likely to succeed Mubarak (as now seems possible).

4:20  Now NYT covers Guardian reporter who has covered WikiLeaks getting booted from Russia today (see much more below this afternoon)

2:50  Esther Addley of Guardian with full piece on Assange hearing today.  Much, much more below here on this blog.

2:40  We said from the beginning this was true, despite rumors that Assange had cables attesting to UFOs, but now Andy Greenberg of Forbes confirms:  "Assange says WikiLeaks' UFO-related cables are more about the Raelian cult than alien life http://bit.ly/gsJHod ."

2:25    I may have been first to link to the document in question here last week, but this is a good new analysis of Air Force claiming if employees--or their family members--even access WikiLeaks docs they could be in violation of the Espionage Act.   Spencer Ackerman at Wired also covers with a "Mamas Don't Let Your Kiddies Grow Up To Read WikiLeaks" feel.  UPDATE:  Air Force now has pulled the original directive, after much ridicule, and says it is re-thinking.

2:05 More on below:  Luke Harding tweets: "Russia has expelled me from Moscow. Stopped at pass control, put in a locked cell and deported. No explanation given." David Leigh of the Guardian gets in a dig at Assange: "Depressing:  #Assange allies #Wikileaks with Kremlin state media, while Guardian kicked out of Russia for free speech."

2:00 Luke Harding, Guardian correspondent, co-author of new book on WikiLeaks -- and who reported on cables that suggested Putin had "mafia" type control -- has just been booted from Russia, first journalist to meet this fate since end of Cold War.  Guardian article here.   Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian editor-in-chief, said: "This is clearly a very troubling development with serious implications for press freedom, and it is worrying that the Russian government should now kick out reporters of whom they disapprove. Russia's treatment of journalists – both domestic and foreign – is a cause of great concern. We are attempting to establish further details, and are in contact with the Foreign Office."

12:30 AP reviews the day in court today.   Full Guardian summary and blow-by-blow remains here.

12:20  BBC video of Assange outside court today.  Says a "black box" has been applied to his life for five months and it is labeled "rape." But he claims that soon will see box is "empty."  Says "process like this surely shows you who your friends are."  Sure enough, there seems to be someone heckling in background.

11:20   The Assange hearing has adjourned for the day after focus on those deleted tweets. Final notes from The Guardian blog: "Before Rudling moves on to being cross-examined by Montgomery, he tells the court Swedish cannot distinguish between 'want' and 'consent.'....Rudung is taking questions on woman A's tweets. He says he contacted police after she deleted tweets from 14 and 15 August showing she had been happy with Assange

 10:45  From @fieldproducer:  "Assange complains he can't hear from the back of the room. Press can barely hear in annex either much confusion as to who is on the stand."

10:35  Assange hearing back from lunch.  Cross-examination of witness.  A hint that there will be no ruling tomorrow.

10:20  One of my reporter pals at Aftenposten, the Norwegian paper, tells me they've just put up new batch of cables "on Egypt and Israel: . Suleiman promised to halt Gaza elections."

10:15  Interesting piece at NPR on professors differing on use of WikiLeaks cables in the classroom. (h/t Michael Busch)

9:15  Summary of first witness for defense, audio from Guardian reporter, at lunch.

8:10  Raffi Khatchadourian, the fine New Yorker writer who figures prominently in my book, just tweeted this note to  "#Wikileaks community:  New Yorker  publishes many secrets in Larry Wright's epic investigation of #scientology.  Must read http://nyr.kr/hlezx5 ."

7:50  What, lunch break delayed?  @AlexiMostrous  "We're back! First witness for #Assange is Britta Sundberg-Weitman, retired Swedish appeal judge." 

7:40  Guardian summarizes the morning in court (does this mean we're on lunch break?).

7:35  Just uploaded book for e-book, should be available in a day or two, will keep you updated, will only be $4.99.   Of course, the print book is only $11.99!

7:30  The Overnight Report (by Asher Wolf):  Assange's mum has returned to Australia from London--amazingly, two months ago she didn't know how to use a computer....In a Guardian article, Evgeny Morozov, author of "The Net Delusion," claims "the age of th WikiLeaks-style vigilante geek is over."  

7:15  Courtroom break:  Now there's an AP story on Domscheit-Brg and his book.

7:05 At the courthouse:  @fieldproducer  "Wondering what media annex is like? Imagine a portacabin classroom like at school but just full of older people with worse attention span."

7:00  From The Guardian's blog:  "Robertson is now onto the conduct of the Swedish prosecutor. He says Assange was willing to be interviewed on Skype at either the Swedish embassy in London or Scotland Yard but his offer was not accepted, so the European arrest warrant lacks proportionality. He says that Assange also offered himself for interview when he was in Sweden.  He concludes his opening (before moving on to 'more technical matters') by outling the four key points of his argument – unfair trial, double criminality, minor rape and proportionality."

 6:30 I'll post something once in awhile from trial, e.g. from Robertson just now, Assange attorney:  "The prosecutor describes this charge as 'minor rape' - that's a contradiction in terms."

6:15  Simply too much to "cover" court hearing as it happens so will provide some summary or snark here, I guess, and other WL.  There are at leat 18 journos tweeting it in court, list right here.   Also see Guardian live-blog below.

6:05  Defense claims "real risk" Swedes would  "bow to US pressure" & extradite Assange  to US to face death penalty.@AlexiMostrous "Full defence case: 'The extradition of #Assange wld involve a real risk of denial of his human rights, cos the trial wld be held in secret.'"

6:00 I'd said I wouldn't get up this early to "cover" the Assange hearing but I was dreaming about it anyway so here I am sick.  Except it was taking place in the Hague.  Here's Guardian's live-blog for starters.  Tweeting @GregMitch.   Others in court also tweeting.  Will list them. 

12:15  If you missed the Dinner With Julian fundraiser invite for Feb. 9 -- wine, women, no song but maybe some toast, or a toast.

12:10 Big media news of the night is AOL buying Huff Post and going into partnership.  Does that mean that six excerpts from my book published there last week gain wider audience now?  "You've got....leaks."

12:05 Guardian responds to WikiLeaks lawsuit threat.

12:00  Assange hearing starts in just five hours.  Afraid that's a little early for me but will catch up quickly and follow throughout....  here is the BBC preview.

From late Sunday

Man, I am a sucker for any Somali pirates cables, and here's a good one, via Foreign Policy.

This afternoon, at 3:20, I posted here, and tweeted, "Assange leaking final score of game, 31-28 Packers."

10:05  New NYT piece on OpenLeaks takes more swipes at WikiLeaks--by guy who co-wrote with John Burns the famous anti-Assange profile last October.  "In private, Mr. Assange has told reporters that the spate of defections shut down the complex computer systems WikiLeaks uses to process new information and make it hard for governments and corporations to trace its source." WikiLeaks releases, and writes, about cable with Yemeni leader hold prisoners on behalf of U.S. without evidence -- and begging for a visit with President Bush while demanding new military equipment.

WikiLeaks finally posts promised "Roundtable," sort of a sleepy Assange video press conference.  To get around the press who "suck up to power."  Mainly talks about press.  Hits NYT on several scores, sitting on stories, showing cables to State Dept., and so on.  Greatest touch: my hero Beethoven over his right shoulder.  "All Men Are Brothers," indeed.

The allegedly anti-Assange BBC "Panorama" special coming tomorrow night -- right in the middle of his extradition hearing.  Here's how The Guardian writes it up tonight:  "Who blows the whistle on the whistleblowers? In Panorama, John Sweeney investigates claims that the zeal of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for transparency in governmental affairs does not extend to its own organisation."

 

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